The ICIS releases the list of winning candidates from the December 2018 election ballot. The newly elected Council members and newly appointed Committee members assumed their roles this month, January, 2019.

2019 – 2021 Council Members: Sarah Gaffen and Anne O’Garra


Council Members – January 2019 – December 2021

Sarah Gaffen

Biography: Dr. Sarah Gaffen is the Gerald P. Rodnan Professor in the Division of Rheumatology & Clinical Immunology, at the University of Pittsburgh. Dr. Gaffen did her undergraduate training at Carnegie Mellon University and received her PhD from UC Berkeley under the guidance of National Academy of Science member Dr. Marian Koshland. Dr. Gaffen did postdoctoral work at UC San Francisco and was on the faculty at SUNY Buffalo from 1999-2008, where she initiated her work on defining mechanisms of signaling by the then-enigmatic IL-17 receptor cytokine family. Since 2008 she has been at the University of Pittsburgh, and was honored with the Gerald P. Rodnan Chair in 2015 and an NIH MERIT award in 2017. Dr. Gaffen is one of the pioneers of studies of the signaling functions and structural features of the IL-17 receptor. The Gaffen Lab also works on understanding the basis for immunity to infections and autoimmunity, with a major interest in the mechanisms that underlie oral mucosal immunity and antifungal host defense. Her group was the first to demonstrate a role for IL-17 pathways in immunity to mucosal Candida albicans infections. Additionally, her recent work has uncovered important post-transcriptional pathways that determine IL-17 signaling cascades. Dr. Gaffen has published over 100 papers and is the Chair of the standing NIH study section “Immunity and Host Defense.” She has been continually funded by NIH since 2001, and has mentored 11 students to completion of a PhD. Her trainees work all over the world in both academia and industry. Dr. Gaffen has been a member of ICIS or its predecessor societies since 2000, and served as Membership Chair, Secretary and Co-Chair of the Inaugural ICIS meeting of the joint societies in 2013.

Goals for ICIS:

“As a Council Member of ICIS, my emphasis will be to help make sure that future meetings are scientifically robust and cover diverse and up-to-date topics relevant to the cytokine field. I will also make it a top priority to ensure that there is good gender and racial representation at future meetings, and that this is reflected in the composition of organization committees. Finally, I believe it is important to engage the up-and-coming younger generation of cytokine biologists in the ICIS.”


Anne O’Garra

Anne O’Garra, FRS, FMedSci, Associate Research Director (Group Leader Immunoregulation and Infection), the Francis Crick Institute.

Anne O’Garra obtained her PhD in microbiology and undertook a Postdoctoral Fellowship in immunology at the Medical Research Council National Institute for Medical Research (NIMR; now part of the Francis Crick Institute) in London. At the DNAX Research Institute, California, USA (1987-2001), as an independent group leader, she defined functions and mechanisms for cytokines in the immune response, for which she was named 2nd of Highly Cited Authors in Immunology, 1992-2002 (ISI Science Indicators).

Anne returned to the UK in 2001 to form the Division of Immunoregulation at NIMR, to interface research in immunology and infectious diseases. Anne continues research on the role and function of cytokines in the immune response and how key cytokines are regulated at the transcriptional level. Her group now also study the immune response in tuberculosis in mouse models and human disease.

In addition to being a Fellow of the Royal Society, Anne was also elected a Fellow of the Academy of Medical Sciences, a Fellow of the American Association for the Advancement of Science and as a Member of EMBO, the European Molecular Biology Organization and is member of a number of Scientific Advisory Boards, including the Keystone Conferences and an Editor of the Journal of Experimental Medicine. As an advocate of Women-In-Science O’Garra chaired the Athena Swan Institute Pilot Bronze award for the NIMR.

She was co-chair of the recently concluded Cytokines 2018, 6th Annual Meeting of the International Cytokine & Interferon Society in Boston.


Member Feedback Question:

DO YOU HAVE A PREFERENCE AS TO WHERE THE 10TH ANNUAL MEETING, CYTOKINES 2022 SHOULD BE HELD?
Hawaii, USA90 votes (32.5%) 90 votes (32.5%)
Athens, Greece 79 votes (28.5%)
New York City, USA 65 votes (23.5%)
Chicago, USA 31 votes (11.2%)
Other (please specify) 12 votes (4.3%)

South Korea (2); Okinawa, JP; Japan; Madrid; Europe; Milan; Rome; Cape Town; Sydney; Hawaii is expensive and logistically challenging. Major city is good; Edinburgh; San Diego, CA; Although NYC, Athens would be great, too; Boston should be a more regular fixture in my view; Toronto

(please note these results were about the same on the Cytokines 2018 Meeting Evaluation Survey) as follows:

Hawaii: 30.53%
Athens: 25.95%
New York City: 22.90%
Chicago: 15.27%
Other: 5.34%
Athens, Prague, Croatia, Japan, Cancun, Why not go back to Boston, given the success? Chicago would be good too. NY is too $$

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